Our balloon with its initial blast of hot air once the airport at Luxor gave permission to the pilots to take off. I was up at 3:15 to leave on our minivan at 4. We arrived at a field where a dozen balloons were deflated and in the dark looked like grey piles of an unknown substance.
As the light began to appear the piles had colors. Men and boys and vehicles of many kinds crouched near each balloon. Once word came all were busy and the gas to heat the balloons blasted.
We waited for the ballon to become upright and the rectangular passenger basket to be ready for passengers. We would be 20 in our balloon. The pilot went over safety instructions which included staying away from his central position under the hole and not touch anything in his space.
Looking behind us in the sunrise you can see the temple in the desert as well as the fertile land under us.
The smoke is from the burning of the remains of the harvested sugar cane.
Here is a clear photo of the line between desert and fertile land. That delineation is the gift of the Nile and the Avenue is slated for the archeologists for 2020. It most certainly is not a natural feature.